Curfew a tool to protect minors, not to hurt them-ICPO

The Iloilo City police and various stakeholders attend the launch of the amended curfew ordinance for minors on Dec 29, 2022. (ICPO photo)

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) emphasized during the official implementation of Regulation Ordinance 2022-279 that curfew is a tool to protect minors from danger, not a way to hurt them.

“Sa mga police naton, sa mga barangay officials, wala naton gina-sakit ang mga kabataan kay gina-respeto naton ang ila ikinamatarong kag protektahan dapat na naton sila,” Police Col. Leo Batiles, ICPO director, said.

On Thursday, Dec 29, 2022, the ICPO, together with Iloilo City Social Welfare and Development Office, as well as the barangay officials in the city conducted a city-wide operation on curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., as mandated by RO 2022-279.

“Naka-combined forces naman kita para nga proteksyonan ang mga minors nga hindi ma-involve sa trouble, especially para ining mga kabataan, ma-dedikar nila ang oras nila sa pagtuon kag hindi sa paglagaw. Ang mga incidents sang stabbing, mga away among minors, malikawan naton ini through our efforts sa pag-implement and sustain sang sining curfew,” Batiles said.

Batiles also appealed to the parents of minors to watch after their kids, as they are the ones responsible for disciplining them.

“Pero may mga sitwasyon gid bala nga ang kabataan man ang hindi na gid ma-control sang mga ginikanan, hindi na gid magpati and ga-gagwa gid sa kagab-ihon and sige involve sa trouble, and kulang sa disiplina, ti ginikanan man nila maapektuhan gid,” Batiles added.

He also explained that minors who will be caught violating the curfew hours will be turned over to the designated holding centers.

“Once may ma-rescue kita nga mga minors, i-under custody danay siya, then imbestigahan and i-turn over naton sa social workers naton sa barangay and sila na bahala magpatawag sa mga ginikanan,” Batiles said.

The ICPO also reported that there were fewer incidents of minors being involved in crimes like robbery and theft in the city.

“Laban lang galing involve sila sa mga away, mga grupo-grupo na bala, mostly may upod pa na nga mga babayi, amu pa na daw kalabanan gakaumpisa ang away kay laban may selos. Amu na, with the curfew operations, ti tani malikawan na ini naton,” Batiles said.

Batiles added they will sustain the curfew operations to ensure the safety of the minors.

“Ang mga police naton, may shifting man na sila, so may sustainability ang ila pag-patrol,” he said.

In October 2022, the city council amended an existing curfew ordinance based on the request of Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, following incidents involving minors, especially during nighttime.

Treñas also said that by enforcing minors to be home early, “we can ensure their safety as every night until the end of Dinagyang, our reach-out operations will be operated per district on a synchronized schedule.”

“For reached out minors, they will be turned over to holding centers per district wherein the social workers will do the recording and proper monitoring for the protection of children,” Treñas added.